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Prior to Economic Treatment of Emissions and Their Uncertainties Under the Kyoto Protocol: Scientific Uncertainties That Must Be Kept in Mind

Chapter

Abstract

In a step-by-step exercise — beginning at full greenhouse gas accounting (FGA) and ending with the temporal detection of emission changes — we specify the relevant physical scientific constraints on carrying out temporal signal detection under the Kyoto Protocol and identify a number of scientific uncertainties that economic experts must consider before dealing with the economic aspects of emissions and their uncertainties under the Protocol. In addition, we answer one of the crucial questions that economic experts might pose: how credible in scientific terms are tradable emissions permits? Our exercise is meant to provide a preliminary basis for economic experts to carry out useful emissions trading assessments and specify the validity of their assessments from the scientific point of view, that is, in the general context of a FGA-uncertainty-verification framework. Such a basis is currently missing.

Keywords

Kyoto protocol full greenhouse gas accounting uncertainty verification emissions emission changes signal detection emission limitation or reduction commitments risk of not meeting commitments 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Institute for Applied Systems AnalysisLaxenburgAustria

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